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Business confidence rises to new high - LMD

“Business confidence surged to an eighteen-month high, as the security forces reportedly gain ground in the Wanni,” says LMD, in its latest edition.

“The unique index that measures business confidence in this country shot up once again, for the third month in a row. In fact, it is now at an 18-month high. Businesspeople, it seems, are now riding high on hopes that the war in the north is winnable,” it states.


Visual of six-months BCI graph

According to the magazine, the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI), which is the only measure of business confidence in this country, shot up to 109 last month.

The October issue of LMD says: “We’re told by the pollsters that expectations of an end to the war in the not-too-distant future may be among the principal reasons for the sudden surge in confidence in the last two months.

In addition, the downward slide in oil prices (from US$ 147-plus in July, to around 100 dollars early last month) may also be at the centre of the revival in biz sentiment, but whether or not this is a temporary phenomenon we will not know in the short term.”

It explains that “predictions at the time of going to press suggest that there may now be relative stability in the oil markets of the world - and this augers well for poorer nations such as ours, grapping as we are with numerous country risks not least of which is the armed conflict in the north” - and also that there’s been “some respite, at long last, on the inflation front too”.

According the magazine, there’s also been a revival of confidence in the Sri Lankan economy, with “nearly a third of respondents to the exclusive poll now say that the economy will improve, which is a near-doubling of the outcome of a month ago, more than double that of a year ago and the most confident they’ve been about the national economy since October 2006”.

The October issue of LMD is now available at supermarkets, retail shops and bookstores island-wide - with new chamber chief Jayampathi Bandaranayake featured on its cover.

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